Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer is often related to a need for palliative care. Palliative care is an approach and treatment provided to improve quality of life for patients with life threatening illness, such as cancer. Dying patients at the end of their life may lose their autonomy towards themselves especially related to their desires and preference. Patients’ preference towards place of death may be influenced by many factors. Patients with cancer require support from their family members as well as health care professionals, especially nurses, they are the one who frequently keep in touch with patients. Therefore, through the support given, patients’ might be able to express their desires.
The purpose of this study was to describe factors associated with preferential place of death for cancer patients receiving palliative care. This study also described how patients’ autonomy affect patients’ decision making related to preferential place of death and how nurses provide support in patients decision making with regards of preferential place of death.
A literature review of 17 scientific articles that met the inclusion criteria was carried out. The articles were collected using two electronic database searches: PubMed and CINAHL. Moreover, four of articles were identified through manual search.
Majority of cancer patients preferred their home as their place of death. Demographic factors such as, gender, age, marital status, economic status, country of birth and place of residence were found to be the most influential factors regarding the preference of home as place of death. The wishes related to place of death of both patients and family caregivers were expected to be recorded in the first meeting. Nurses in providing support for patients with cancer should have to empower patients express their desires.
In conclusion, this literature review showed that promoting autonomy and decision making are challenging for nurses. Nurses can help patients express their preferences or desires by providing decision making support. There are many factors that contribute to the decision of location of death. Therefore, it is important for nurses to empower patients’ autonomy and to respect their values in order to provide support for patients with cancer in making decision related to place of death
2016. , 23 p.